Here I am again … looks like I’m going to need to post a quick update as it’s been almost three years since my last post. In the meantime, let’s talk about what is going on with my dogs being “bad” the other day.
I came home Tuesday night to shreds of cardboard and paper throughout the house. I should have taken a picture, but like most people my immediate response was to clean it up. I didn’t get all of it, so I had Ruby sit next to a few remnants for a photo op. She looks guilty. She’s not feeling guilty, she’s just uncertain about why she was asked to sit in that particular spot. I’m usually more relaxed about the exact spot of the sit and she’s never comfortable when the phone is pointed at her.
I didn’t scold Ruby or KK. I thought about scolding Charlie as he’s at home with them most of the day, but it wasn’t his fault either. What we can tell from the randomness of the mess is that our dogs were bored. And with that I decided it was time to come up with real plans, that include toys and activities, that tire these pups out.
We immediately switched from food bowls to snuffle mats. Snuffle mats are these wonderful fleece craft projects that you sprinkle treats and kibble on. The food settles into the folds of the mat and your pup has to root around for them. It feeds into their want of sniffing things out, and working for their food works their brains. That work is a good thing as working their brains will tire them out as much as a romp in the yard.
Side bar: Although I had great plans to make my own snuffle mat, my friend Monica was making bunches of them. You can order one from her by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tonight I will embark on the next step: cleaning up all chewable stuff that isn’t for them to chew on. You can’t blame your dog for chewing up your fancy new shoes if you leave them out. Listen to your mom – “put your stuff away!”
I’ll be back to post more as we build on the no-boredom plan. What are your favorite games, toys, activities for burning off that “puppy” energy?